Ron Artest is a busy man. He does comedy tours. He changes his name. He dances with the stars. He would be playing basketball too, either internationally or with the NBA, if not for insurance issues and the lockout.
In a whirlwind of a summer for dancer/comedian/basketball player Artest-World Peace, it was only a matter of time before he sat down with someone to address one of the more memorable three-month periods in athlete personality history.
Last night, Artest-World Peace took the time to talk with ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, where they spoke about Ron-Ron’s name change, the Lakers, the NBA lockout and his new dancing career.
On the parking tickets that postponed his name change to Metta World Peace, and why Artest chose that name (via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne):
“It comes down to the parking tickets. I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life,” Artest said.
“There’s so much fine print,” Artest continued. “I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”
When Smith asked if that’s the explanation he would give to the judge at his next court date, Artest said, “I have to. I want to change my name and get it over with already.”
On the Lakers’ chances next season to win the 2012 NBA Championship:
Artest guaranteed to ESPN Los Angeles’ Stephen A. Smith in a 40-minute interview Wednesday that the Lakers will again pop the champagne bottles after winning the 2012 NBA title. Assuming there’s a season of course.
“Win it all,” Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. “Win the whole thing. That’s a guarantee.”
Smith then asked what can the general public do to Artest should his guarantee go sour.
“We’re going to win,” he answered. “You can do anything you want to do. Whatever you want to do, you do it.”
On what he’s heard about the ongoing NBA labor negotiations:
“A week ago I expected us not to play until January (or) February, but now I have a good feeling we might have one on time,” he said. “It seems like we might possibly have a season. I’m hearing progress in these last couple days. I haven’t heard this all summer. I’ve heard people not even talking, going to meetings, showing up.
“But now I’m hearing some very good things and I’m very excited.”
Lastly, Artest on his chances on Dancing With The Stars:
“That’s going to be a problem.”
Artest’s next court date to change his name will take place on Sept. 16, three days before his initial appearance on the season premiere of Dancing With The Stars